Wallace trying to stay positive about bench role

Wallace trying to stay positive about bench role
November 7, 2013, 1:30 am
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BOSTON — Drama . . .

Draaaaa-maaaaa . . . OK, maybe it's not that bad.

But believe it or not, it ain't all rainbows and butterflies on a losing team mixed with veterans who aren't playing, and rookies who are.

Gerald Wallace falls somewhere in the middle. He's a veteran. He is playing. But as of Game 5, he's no longer starting.

That was a "shock" to him, and it sure sounded like it irked him a bit before the game.

The always-honest Wallace told CSNNE before the game how he was feeling about Brad Stevens' decision to bring him off the bench against the Jazz Wednesday night:

"I don't really know what to think. Like I said, I don't know my role. I don't know what's going on. I just go; when they ask me to play, I'll play. We'll just go from there."

When asked before the game about being a spark off the bench, Wallace said, "I don't really know. I don't really know what to expect. We'll find out tonight."

The results? Pretty good. Wallace ended the game with 9 points on 3-of-5 shooting and 9 rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

But eight of those points came in a crucial part of the first quarter, when it looked as if the Jazz were going to pull ahead by a wide margin. Wallace entered the game with the Celtics down 16-8 after Jeff Green hit his free throw. Wallace scored the game's next basket - a layup - and hit two 3-pointers, including the game's last points of the quarter. He drew a charge with seconds left in the quarter to cap it off.

Stevens was happy with the results of the Wallace/Jared Sullinger/Kelly Olynyk experiment.

“I told Gerald (Wallace) this today: I thought the Sully/Kelly (Jared Sullinger/Kelly Olynyk) – with their ability to pass and stretch the floor, would open up some driving lanes for him," Stevens said.  "And some plays for him.  Those three guys complement each other pretty well.  So I kind of made up my mind last night that we were going to go with Gerald off the bench, and then went from there.

After the game, Wallace addressed those comments he made prior to the game.

"I wouldn't say not happy, I'd just say kind of confused," Wallace said of his initial reaction. "It was the first time since I was actually traded to Portland and came off the bench two or three games for them that I actually came off the bench . . . It's a new experience for me. Like I said we're still trying to figure out as a team something different, but it worked, so maybe it's something that we can go with."

Wallace, who said coming off the bench was "a fun experience for me", was singing a more positive tune after the game than before. Perhaps Celtics GM Danny Ainge was standing behind the hoard of media holding up flash cards with what Wallace should say.

"My main thing is just trying to figure out where I fit in and my role and my situation," Wallace said. "I think I pretty much know that now. We can move forward and continue to play and do my role. I think coming off the bench especially for me this late in my career is pretty good. I don't think I can average 30, 40, 45 minutes anymore. I think those days are gone. But coming in and playing a hard 25 minutes is good for me. I'm able to help my teammates out. I play pretty good with the second unit. It helps our team out a whole lot bringing the energy off the bench."

Regardless of whether he's starting or not, expect to see the same Wallace out on the court.

"You cant change the way I play," he said. "I'm going to play that way if I'm at home playing against my kids."

DAY TIME GAME
Wednesday 7:00 pm Celtics vs Pistons
Thursday 5:00 pm
(Replay 8pm)
Celtics vs Magic